Tasty delicacy can be grown year round thanks to Warrington scientist
Hydroponic Samphire | Heidi Summerfield |
Image: Dr Russell Sharp and the hydroponic samphire
SAMPHIRE – a strong, salty vegetable that is growing in popularity and often served with fish and seafood dishes.
It’s usually cultivated in the UK in the summer and imported from Morocco, Israel and Mexico in colder months.
But, thanks to one Warrington-born scientist, the tasty accompaniment can now be grown in this country all year round.
Dr Russell Sharp is a plant scientist at a hydroponics farm in Daventry – Eutrema – and what they’re offering is a game changer.
The Northamptonshire-based company is the first in the world to offer hydroponic samphire – samphire grown in enriched water without soil – and it’s so clean and fresh that it can even be eaten raw.
The vegetable usually grows in a unique environment combining estuarine mud and salt water, which has made it difficult for scientists to cultivate in a hydroponic system.
That is until now.
Image: UK-grown hydroponic samphire at Eutrema
UK-grown hydroponic samphire at Eutrema
Russell, who is a former pupil at Great Sankey High School and attended Barrow Hall College, said: “Our samphire is so succulent and clean that you can eat it raw – the stems are crisp like that achieved in early summer in samphire’s natural maritime habitat.
“Our all-year-round samphire is grown in a dedicated indoor grow room with no chance of animals fertilising the crop.
“We harvest our products and ship them out the same day guaranteeing freshness and quality – there is no cold storage for weeks or distribution hubs.”
Samphire has appeared on more menus and recipe cards over the past few years with visitors to top restaurants expecting to see it paired with fish dishes or accompanying seafood.
Now, supermarkets and restaurants no longer need to rely on importing samphire from overseas during winter months – a variety of the vegetable which is often woody and twiggy and a little unappetising.
Russell said the hydroponic samphire grown at Eutrema is “harvested with the care and attention of a chef” meaning the crop isn’t damaged by machines.
The company is teaming up with Michelin starred restaurants to provide them with top quality UK-grown samphire they would be happy to serve to their customers.
It has a lower carbon footprint compared to the imported varieties and is already on the menu at Michelin-starred White Swan in Leicestershire.
Original Article: https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/23321460.tasty-delicacy-can-grown-year-round-thanks-warrington-scientist/
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